Love Autoruns and Process Explorer also.
I don't use True Image. When I make an image of a partition I use Partimage, one of the tools on the Linux based
SystemRescueCD boot CD.
Partimage works from outside an OS.
I can create an image of my Win 7 install (partimage works with NTFS as well as ext3). I do this often and especially before doing anything risky (like before turning off Task Scheduler). Of course I make images of my linux partitions also.
This software is free and works very well.
It takes about 6 to 22 minutes to create an image depending on the amount of used space on a partition.
It only uses the used space to create the image.
I have 2 large USB flash drives dedicated to storing the images and I save them to the drives directly as they are created.
Partimage uses an optional compression routine that greatly reduces the image size. Example my 9.50 GB used space
on my Win 7 partition is reduced to two files that are 4.65 GB total.
Restore from USB flash drive runs at ~2.5 GB/min so a restore of Win 7 takes 3.8 minutes (9.5 GB divided by 2.5 GB/min.)
I have a total of 6 OS images saved to a 16 GB and 8 GB USB thumb drives.
I can restore all 6 in about 15-20 minutes.
Partimage has saved my butt on many occasion.
All my data and My Documents (all libraries) are located on a separate NTFS partition.
I back up this data to an external drive.
I also have a Program Files folder on this separate partition.
When I install programs I specify that folder as my install location.
I have many programs that don't require installation (so called portable apps) located in that folder as well.
At least with the portable apps I won't need to do anything but create desktop shortcuts to them when I do a clean install
of the final release.
I also have my pagefile located on that partition. I know there isn't a real speed advantage to that but it helps spread the load out between partitions. My Win 7 install is fairly small as a result.
I'm looking forward to installing the final in the near future (when I can afford it).
I'm planning on purchasing the OEM version of Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit.
I will probably get the final after the Christmas Holidays.
In the meantime I'm enjoying Win 7 RC.
BTW, by disabling Task Scheduler I've reduced my boot times as measured by "BootRacer" to
logon: 37 seconds
Desktop: 49 seconds
Yeah... it's also frustrating when we can't get our hands on the system or when you suggest something to try that you may know will help fix or identify the problem... and they just dismiss it... or say that won't work.
Guys, Your expertise and insight are invaluable. I've just completed a major upgrade of my system (W7, 64bit, max ram etc,etc) which would have been impossible without the support of this forum. Tblout your blogs rock! Your tips, tricks and how to's are very much appreciated and better still.....they work! Keep the faith!